I recently watched a video on making little clay pokeballs, and despite not playing that much pokemon myself I knew I had to make some.  I love the imagery from this series, and a collection of small pokeballs was just too good to pass up. I need it.

Pulling out my handy dandy polymer clay, I rolled them out and indented appropriately, putting little i pins on the top so they can be more than just useless marbles.

This image is actually from my second batch.  You can see my first draft on the right there

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First Things first, I colored the bottoms and button of the ball.  Now I expected white to take a million and a half coats to look solid but this managed to cover in only 3.  I used the cheap acrylic paint you get for 60 cents.  Probably not the most professional paint in the world, but it was going to get sealed and finished up on top, so I really just wanted a quick coloring agent.

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Now, I actually didn’t have any cheap red acrylic paint so I decided to use the nicer stuff, and it bubbled! Note the ugly texture below. I ended up mixing a more burgundy wine coloured cheap acrylic with the nicer stuff to get it to stop bubbling. I haven’t looked up why it does that though when used alone. Needless to say, the below image was sanded off and started over.

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Here’s how the cheap red paint goes on alone.  Note: not bubbly.  Oddly enough it takes 5-6 coats of red to get nice coverage. (looooooots of waiting for paint to dry)

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Lastly I sealed them with 2-3 coats of a glossy finish.  I used spray on because my paint on varnish didn’t get shiny.  Everyone I read about uses paint on glazes for their polymer clay creations, but I just have bad luck with them.

My little sister probably thought I was crazy while these were drying.  Until I found a way to secure the pliers shut and prop them up, I was holding on to the charms and waving my arms around like a bird. Dry faster! dry faster! I want to set you down.  (Turned out the solution was hair ties and a spray can lid.)

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The sealant took about 2 days to harden completely.  It was dry to the touch after a few hours though. My charms still looked a little lonely though. I sat and racked my brains. Tiny tin stamped tags? Little beads that said handmade? Little clay elements?

Bingo!

As the lighting gets worse on each photo you can tell I ran out of sunlight and was working by my reading lamp, haha.

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All in total I’m very satisfied with these keychains.  Yeah they’re not perfect, but if I wanted perfect I’d have ordered something mass produced in a factory instead of made myself. I think the elements still have room for improvement, but nothing has come to me immediately. I really like the idea of making them out of metal.

So I thought I was all done with keychains until I went to the bead store a few days later and bought waaaaay more beads than I should have (I started rosary making and it’s really therapeutic.  I can work much more rhythmically than I can when I crochet.  Even if you aren’t religious, I highly recommend the act of making rosaries.  Leave off the crucifix and medal and it’s just a nice beaded necklace.)

So at the bead store I sprung for these Carved agate stones. (far right yellow stars)

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At the time I just thought: pretty. Once I got home and realized I’d just bought a bunch of beads I didn’t know what to do with because I got caught up in an art supply craze I felt pretty lousy.  Then it hit me.

So I used to work at a Michaels. I have their stock memorized.  I knew what I needed (I knew it’s exact planogram location in the store). I needed the green glass leaf beads I used to look at and sadly shake my head because I had no reason to buy them. I FINALLY NEEDED THEM.

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I had Poupus on my mind and my mind on Poupus.

Using all my new found skills from rosary making I set out to work. AND IT WAS MAGNIFICENT.

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It’s so simple, but so cute.  I immediately hung one from my rear view mirror in my car. They’re not too heavy either, so I made a few pairs of earrings.

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IT’s really just a cute overload.

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I have all my keychains hanging in my studio with my whales now. I almost don’t want to see them go at the up coming convention, but I have no need for an army.

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